Apr 22, 2020

On being “inwardly attentive”

Written by Kathy Petersen, Senior Director of Adult Ministry

Even before this time of stay at home restrictions, many women I know had one priority in the day: just making it through. Life in this area is hectic and women often find themselves torn in a thousand different directions in a single day as they live out the many roles in which they find themselves. In her book, Gift from the Sea (one of my favorites), Anne Morrow Lindbergh shared the thought: “The problem is not one merely of woman and career, woman in the home, woman and independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions in life; how to remain balanced, no matter what centrifugal forces tend to pull one off center; how to remain strong, no matter what shocks come in at the periphery and tend to crack the hub of the wheel.” She penned these words in 1955! 

And today in 2020 we find ourselves facing this exact description as we engage in life during the pandemic. To say that this way of life we are now experiencing is a shock that came in at the periphery that cracked the hub of the wheel might be an understatement. The priorities many held on to in early March are now completely different. We have learned that those priorities, as solid as they seemed, were not written in granite. We learned to hold our priorities with open hands because they were changing daily. Many of you went from semi-ordered chaos to winging-it chaos. But I want to caution us all that we can’t live in the place of winging-it chaos indefinitely. 

Lindbergh goes on to share “What matters most is that one be, for a time, inwardly attentive.” I want to encourage you to stop for a few moments and think about the priorities and demands you are managing. Is there a space in your day when you are being intentionally “inwardly attentive” – when you are able to sit at the feet of Jesus and soak in his presence? I realize the luxury of quiet time has expanded for some of you and disappeared for many others. But we all need this time with Jesus – to be reminded about who we are and whose we are – to be equipped to face the priorities He has for us in any given day. 

If you are not already doing so, I want to encourage you to reorder your priorities moving forward so that you can be “for a time, inwardly attentive.” You taking the time, for whatever time it is, to be with Jesus will enable all the other priorities you are facing right now to become clearer and (mostly) manageable. My prayer is that you will come away from your time with Jesus with the assurance that you can do all things through him who strengthens you (Phil 4:13) as face your priorities for the day.

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